The examination of 7,892 adult doves in Missouri between 1953 and 1965 showed that less than 2.5% of adult doves completed their molt before October 1. Adult doves of both sexes began molting their primary feathers during early June in Missouri and lost the last (tenth) primary during the latter half of October. Approximately 140-150 days were required to complete the molt. Thus, early-hatched immatures, which begin their primary molt 25-30 days after hatching, contributed the bulk of the wings with completed molts in September. By correctly classifying September samples of dove wings with a completed molt as young-of-the-year a more accurate young:adult ratio is obtained.
Additional publication details
Progress of primary feather molt of adult mourning doves in Missouri